Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." - Dale Evans Rogers

Someone recently informed me that I didn't have any Christmas spirit & I quickly agreed with them, happily saying that I hate the holiday & that I work in an industry where I'm dealing with nasty, rushed, hateful people all day long. That response earned me the weirdest look & I honestly couldn't figure out what said person's problem was.  I was just being honest. Bluntly so...but still. They opened that can of worms, right?

Well, that look stuck with me when I came home.  I got to thinking about it and the season and all that it entails.  Truth is...I didn't have any friggin holiday spirit. I couldn't remember the last time I had.  Actually, that's not totally true. I go to midnight mass every year & that's about it as far as I get to feeling a little holiday spirit. When I hear the choir sing "O Come All Ye Faithful." Anyway, so I just went about my, cleaning, folding laundry, texting, watching movies with the kids. Forgot all about that weird little look. Business as usual.  Right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

Fast forward to tonight. Both my brothers are here. It's been loud and rowdy and the kids are too loud & everyone is  trying to speak over each other. The boys are picking on my girls & I'm yelling at everyone to cut the crap. I'm cooking and serving and washing the 5th sinkful of dishes. We've watched movies & I've baked cookies for them & while they're eating them & arguing over who got the last 2 cookies & I'm standing near everyone taking it all in & I looked over to the Christmas tree & it all became very clear to me.  These are the moments that should make us feel holiday spirit.  It isn't how many gifts I buy. It isn't how many light decorations I put outside.  It isn't how many times I say "Happy Holidays." It's a moment of clarity within a time of total chaos when I looked around & realized how much I love my family & how lucky I am to have them.

It's realizing that in the very near future, a span of about two thousand miles will separate all of us & I will miss them. That we may not be spending the holidays together next year. It's understanding that no matter how many times my heart breaks, that I have people who love me and always will. That no matter how much I can't give them in tangible gifts, I can give them all of my love. With my heart. With the example I set for them. With the guidance I offer them. With the time I spend with them & the memories I create with them.

That's what the holidays are truly about and tonight in my kitchen, surrounded by the people who can often drive me the craziest, I was overwhelmed with beautiful, unexpected holiday spirit. And right there in that moment, I felt in my heart one of my favorite Christmas carols...

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

I don't know if it will last for the whole year. I don't know if it will be the greatest Christmas ever. I just know that I finally got it & for that I felt very blessed. Wishing you & yours all the best & most wonderful holiday ever.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An open letter to my Nashville Girls

Today I took the final steps in making this move go from something I merely talk about (and stress over) to becoming a reality. Homes have been released and apartments have been secured. Utility companies have been given disconnect days. Moving companies are being dwindled down by cost and reputation. The kid's school has been notified of official withdrawal dates. I started packing! Whoa. It all suddenly feels VERY scary. I am moving ACROSS.THE.COUNTRY. To where I basically know 3 people. Holy shit Batman!!

Even as I have mini panic-attacks throughout the day, I feel an equal sense of calm and comfort. Like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. This move may seem completely crazy to some people but in the middle of all of the chaos and fear is this complete and total sense of clarity. My time here has expired. It is time to close this book. Not even move to a new chapter. My ass needs a whole new binding. I need a new BOOKSHELF. And I'm about to get me one. And I am so damn excited about it!

Packing however, poses a few challenges that I was unprepared for the obvious, that packing just sucks. I've been sorting through what goes and what gets trashed and I've already come across so many memories that have reminded me that I have made (and am about to leave!) the most divine little circle of friends here. I am usually very wary of females. No, I'm not the kind of woman who hates on other chicks. I just don't usually mesh so well with them.  I'm far more like one of the guys than one of the girls. I curse like a sailor, I burp, and I have no use for marriage. See? Seriously though, up until moving to Nashville, I have had TWO good friends. Those 2 are so fantastic that I never hoped to have anymore. I would never deign to be so greedy.  Then by some delightful alignment of planets in the skies I met some women here who are amazing and will be missed so terribly that my heart aches just writing this.

We've formed a group so phenomenally different in so many ways that we probably shouldn't even BE friends. I mean WORLDS apart. Older, younger, intellectual, creative, silly, serious, party animals, teetotalers, lovers, fighters, sugar, spice, saints & angels...this group fits all of it. In those differences comes this magic that I never in my life could have imagined would have happened. Their support over the course of the passed year especially, has been invaluable to me. These girls have helped keep my ass from going right over the deep end. They've let me laugh, cry, curse, drink, talk, pass out, talk some more and some more and even then, some more. They've become additions to my family. Spent holidays with me and my children and family.

And I'm going to miss them. I'm going to miss them more than any pretty words in the English language can ever do any of them justice. I'll miss Puerto Rican Sunday Fundays. I'll miss going to shows and restaurants and DANCING and Pure Barre-ing and shopping and drinking. I'll miss Cabana nights filled with gossip and love and wine and dessert! My heart hurts thinking about how limited these times will be after February.

It should be stated though that I worked as hard as I did to be sure that we are all on a certain social network for a reason. I will need constant communication with you all. Inside jokes will be in abundance and demanded. Trips to visit one another will happen. A LOT. For I believe in my heart of hearts that true friendship can never ever be diminished by time or distance. I believe we were all meant to be in each others lives to love and support each other. To make each other stronger, braver and better.

So this little post is especially for you my beautiful J Squad. You have enriched my life in so many ways. Big and small. You've touched the lives of my daughters. You've shown them that women are capable of healthy and significant relationships with one another. You've helped them deal with the pain they've dealt with this year. You put some of the color back in my life when my world went totally gray and you've breathed life back into my lungs when I was sure I was down to my last breath. You ladies are the model from which strong, positive, independent, fierce, loyal women were created. I know you will all blaze amazing trails for others to learn from and aspire to.

I'm only a phone call/text/Tweet away. So let's not let this be as bad as it may seem for the next few weeks. We are bound by something that a few silly states can't take away. When women come together, we become as we were meant to be. Unstoppable. I cannot wait to see what new journeys this new book will take me on...but it's the chapters that include you all that I know are going to make it that much better....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"It really only works out once." -JKF

I have just found out that I wasted the last 8+ years of my life. I want to be angry about it but I'm actually just sitting here laughing at how phenomenally fucking stupid I've been. Actually, not for the relationship part, but for the mourning period I've put myself through since. There is nothing like clarity to help you jump start your incentive to LET GO.

There is a saying that goes, "When somebody shows you their true colors, believe them." I have often quoted this one myself. Yet here I am justifying and then forgiving insult after insult, lie after lie, and transgression after transgression. What in the hell is wrong with me? This fool has been showing me every true color since the moment his weak ass hit the state line! His strength was derived from ME! And I let him take it with him for the last year!!

When you LOVE somebody, really love them. Like from the core of your soul and the very foundation by which your world used to stand is shattered and is forever changed as a result; you simply  DO NOT MOVE PAST IT THAT QUICKLY.  You can't. I don't care what you've convinced yourself. I don't care how much you ignore it and try to act like it doesn't exist. Things like that don't just GO AWAY. They get BURIED away.  You can bang as much new ass as you like and it won't change the truth.

Funny enough, just after this last one left, the one before him showed back up. It was actually a very similar situation. I'm the greatest thing on God's green earth blah blah blah. And the same way I knew it would play out, it DID. Here he was back again with the "I screwed up. I miss you. You were always the one. I'm miserable now. I coulda, I shoulda.Can we please..." All I heard was I'm WEAK. WEAK. WEAK. The SAME thing will happen with this one. Up until an hour ago, I have been a magnet for unavailable men. Ones who just couldn't man up when it came right down down to it. Still, I have had some of the most amazing, wonderful positive relationships EVER. Not any cheaters or liars. Things were great until the very last second that is, when they've turned tail on me. That shit just ended right now.

If you aren't coming hard, coming 100%, then stay away from me. I don't love easy, I am not weak and I don't tuck tail and run when the shit gets tough. No more will I permit this sort of person to gain access to me. When I love, I'm all in. I don't hang around for months, then years if I'm unsure. I love from the very fiber of my core. I don't give of my heart and soul easily so it is a personal affront to me that someone would come into my world, take and take and take and then shit on it because they aren't strong enough to hang in there when things don't fit it to their perfect little idea of what their life and real love is. And unlike those same people, I don't "just get over it" when said relationship ends. It takes me time to heal. It takes me time to mourn. It takes me time to move forward. Because I.Love.For.Real.

I don't want to get into something with somebody new and shit all over their world because I haven't finished dealing with the things that hurt me and I'm not yet over. I don't do that "get over one person with the next one" nonsense. It is not how it should be done because it isn't true. So yes, I may  have cried, and been sad and felt like absolute crap for the last year but I have been nothing but honest and real with mine. I'm not totally over it. I'm not ready to move forward. But when I do, and I will, it will be FINITE.

I'm not going to have to worry about old ghosts popping back up. Because I will have officially exorcised the demon. And when I DO move past it, and those lies come front and center...when the realization of the duplicity and foolish ways become clear,  DO NOT come calling me. I won't be here waiting. Right this second I may still a work in progress regarding this but I won't be for too much longer. I am taking my strength back. You don't deserve it and you didn't deserve me.